As-Built and As-Designed Data and Product Verification Software

Updated on January 8, 2018
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.


As-built data is the information related to the raw parts, materials and processes to build a product. As-built data is often stored in ERP software. As-designed data captures the planned part designs, test documentation, planned bills of material and supporting documentation. As-designed data is managed in PDM applications.

Where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as-built data and Product Data Management (PDM) systems meet is called Product Verification. Software applications that can compare as-designed data against as-built data perform are called product verification integration or PVI tools.

As-Built Data

As-built data is information that records what you have built. As-built data includes the serial numbers of what has been built and often the labor hours associated with the assembly step. It records the configuration of the product when it was built. As-built data also includes inventory information of stock. The inventory information includes the quantity of the raw parts and assembled sub-assemblies in stock along with the configuration information like revision letter and the engineering changes incorporated in them. As-build data is managed in software applications such as Visiprise Manufacturing (VM) by SAP, Sage ERP by the Sage Group and Oracle ERP applications like JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.

As designed data refers to the parts outlined in the design, usually in the parts list associated with the product drawing.
As designed data refers to the parts outlined in the design, usually in the parts list associated with the product drawing. | Source

As-Designed or As-Planned Data

As-designed data or as-planned data is the engineering plan to which product should be built. These are the drawings, test plans and build procedures that should be used when the product is assembled. As-designed data includes the planned product structure such as the parent part revision and part revisions of all child parts. As-designed data also includes engineering change orders and the planned revision letter or date when those engineering changes are made on the production line. As designed data is managed using Product Data Management (PDM) tools. Some of the most commonly used PDM tools are PTC’s Windchill, Epicor PDM software, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, Siemens PLM’s NX CAD software and PDXpert PLM.

As-designed data describes the parts list at a particular time,  while as-built data records the part revisions of what was assembled.
As-designed data describes the parts list at a particular time, while as-built data records the part revisions of what was assembled. | Source

Product Verification Integration

Product verification is the comparison of as-built data to as-designed data. In short, it is the verification of the as-built configuration to the as-designed configuration. Did you build what you were supposed to build? If the parent part is at revision B, is the built product also at revision B? If an engineering change request was supposed to be implemented in serial number 1002 and the part serial number is 1003, was the engineering change implemented in this product?

One of the leading problems of product verification is the lack of standardized tools to compare as-built data to as-designed data. This gap has been filled by a range of home grown or niche product verification integration (PVI) solutions. For those who do not have product verification software to link their as-built data and as-designed data, the fall back solution is manual reviews of as-built and as-designed data by quality control personnel. For very large assemblies, product verification requires several days of work by detailed oriented people. A long term solution for the industry would be data sharing and product verification interfaces between the major PDM and ERP vendors, though this has not yet happened.

Existing product verification tools capture the evolution of product structure over time, providing baselines of what was built several years prior. This makes product verification systems perfectly suited for tracking the designed configuration of depot parts, the spares kept for the customer when old assemblies need spare parts. Product verification software applications often end up being used to manage customer returned material (CRM) since it has records of the proper product structure of the part from when it was built and the necessary changes that must be made to update the product to the latest and greatest design along with the acceptable substitute parts to upgrade it to the next generation or revision letter called out in the PDM database.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Tamara Wilhite


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